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Wrist Tendonitis

What Is Wrist Tendonitis?

Wrist Tendonitis occurs when the tendons in your wrist become inflamed, causing pain. Tendonitis of the wrist can affect the Extensor Carpi Ulnaris (ECU), located on the pinky side of the hand, or the Flexor Carpi Radialis (FCR), which runs from the elbow and up the forearm, inserting into the base of the second metacarpal.

What Are The Causes Of Wrist Tendonitis?

The causes of wrist tendonitis can vary from repetitive stress like repeated heavy lifting or swinging a tennis racket to trauma, usually from falling onto an outstretched hand.

What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Wrist Tendonitis?

People with wrist tendonitis will often report pain, tenderness, and swelling of the wrist, as well as pain when flexing or extending the wrist.

What Are The Risk Factors Of Wrist Tendonitis?

Wrist tendonitis is most common among people who regularly lift heavy objects. Working a manual labor job that requires lifting and moving boxes can put you at higher risk, as can exercises such as tennis or weightlifting.

How Is Wrist Tendonitis Diagnosed?

Your doctor will begin with a detailed review of your injury history, then perform a physical examination and take an X-ray of the affected area. In some cases, an ultrasound or MRI examination may be required to assess for soft tissue tears or inflammation.

What Are The Possible Treatments For Wrist Tendonitis?

Conservative treatment options include rest, icing, and anti-inflammatory medication such as Ibuprofen. You may be fitted with a wrist splint to limit range of motion and prevent worsening the injury. Physical therapy may help as well, and in some cases a cortisone may be administered to the tendon to reduce local inflammation.

Are There Preventative Steps Or Measures To Avoid Wrist Tendonitis?

You can reduce your risk of Wrist Tendonitis by avoiding heavy lifting and other repetitive tasks which may cause injury.

What Are The Risks If Wrist Tendonitis Is Left Untreated?

If left untreated, the tendons can become very inflamed, causing extreme pain.

Are There Other Related Conditions To Wrist Tendonitis?

De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis is a similar condition that involves inflammation of the tendon’s on the thumb side of the hand.

Key Takeaways About Wrist Tendonitis

Wrist tendonitis refers to painful inflammation of the ECU or FCR tendons, caused by repetitive stress from heavy lifting or other strenuous physical activities. It can usually be addressed through conservative means, such as splinting or administering cortisone injections. If not treated, wrist tendonitis can take months to heal on its own, and pain may worsen over time.

Meet Dr. Erin Nance

Dr. Erin Nance specializes in orthopedic hand and upper extremity surgery, as well as traditional orthopedic services. Dr. Nance takes her time with every patient in her Midtown East, New York office, ensuring everyone gets the care and attention they deserve. Learn More »

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